The Sun Dagger (Short Version)
The astonishing discovery of an ancient celestial calendar in Chaco Canyon, NM.
Directed by Albert Ihde
Produced by Anna Sofaer, The Solstice Project
Narrated by Robert Redford
This classic, timeless film documents the extraordinary celestial calendar created by ancient North American Indians, and rediscovered by artist Anna Soafer, high on a butte in New Mexico.
"As an astronomical and geometrical marvel, it ranks with the Pyramids and Stonehenge."
The "dagger" is presently the only known site in the world that marks the extreme positions of both the sun and moon.
The film explores the complex culture of the Anasazi Indians who constructed the calendar, and thrived both spiritually and materially in the harsh environment of Chaco Canyon a thousand years ago.
Note: This short version omits most of the discussion, that is in the long version, with Joseph Campbell about kivas and the more complex aspects of the Anasazi's religious beliefs.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1983
Copyright Date: 1982
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-883-X
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-323-3
"It changes forever history's perceptions of America's early Indian colonists. And as an astronomical and geometrical marvel, it ranks with the Pyramids and Stonehenge."
"THE SUN DAGGER is a 'must-buy' for school districts and public libraries."
Media and Methods
"The multidisciplinary nature of this film makes it possible to use it in many classroom situations. The excellent teaching guide, written by Don Reid, vastly improves the film's instructional value."
Journal of College Science Teaching
"Both (versions) are excellent."
Editor's Choice, Science Books and Films
The Solstice Project web site